Group Calls for People to 'Buy Nothing' on Black Friday

On the day when retailers expect most Americans to shop, some people are crying "STOP!" A Canadian group called Adbusters started "Buy Nothing Day" 15 years ago. KPCC's Brian Watt tells us how some Southlanders have bought into the idea.

Brian Watt: Okay, so the idea is really not to buy in. It's to do the opposite of consumers who, while they're still crammed with cranberry sauce, line up at the mall. Adbusters Campaign Manager Paul Cooper maintains that this is the result of hype, not generosity or tradition.

Paul Cooper: We're all aware that we're being marketed to, but at the same time, and I don't think that we necessarily feel that we're being vicitimized by subconscious messages, but there is a point where we just feel oversaturated, and it just becomes too much.

Watt: Aneeta Mitha of West Los Angeles says she's observing Buy Nothing Day this year for the first time.

Aneeta Mitha: When I read it about it, it just clicked to me and it kind of changed my perspective of how materialistic I am.

Watt: A recent event in Mitha's life helped that "click" along. She saved money and bought a computer. A month and a half later, somebody stole it.

Mitha: It broke my heart, and I didn't want something that is easily bought with money to have any sort of emotional control over me.

Watt: Adbusters has likened compulsive shoppers to zombies. On Buy Nothing Day in the Southland, some people plan to dress like zombies and converge on the Grove in L.A.'s Fairfax District or march in front of Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Another group planned to stroll along Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade carrying signs with messages like "America is not at War, America is at the mall." For her part, Aneeta Mitha is welcoming people like her, who've chosen to buy nothing, to an informal gathering near Venice Beach.